Don’t just give love on Christmas Day … BUT give love EVERYDAY, giving Christ in every way.
If God SO LOVED the world that He GAVE His only Begotten Son, then what makes us different? We are created according to His image and likeness therefore we are wired for LOVE! We are wired TO LOVE! Why do you think we all are searching for love? It’s all because we are designed by our Divine Creator for and to LOVE! We are meant to RECEIVE and GIVE LOVE!
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 NLT
Look at the references of both verses … John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16! Nothing just happens! Everything in this world has a purpose. I believe it was meant to be like this so we can EASILY remember the ultimate purpose of what and why we’re created for. Both verses denote the POWER OF THE CROSS which is LOVE!
John 3: 16 – We love Him because He loved us FIRST!
a. VERTICAL PART OF THE CROSS – God’s love coming down!
God GAVE because GOD IS LOVE! He GAVE because OF LOVE! He GAVE because HE LOVES US! We RECEIVE because we are LOVED! We are the FIRST RECIPIENT of His Love. HE FIRST LOVED US!
Love came down and rescued you and me! Love came down to set us FREE!
b. VERTICAL PART OF THE CROSS – Our love ascending into His courts! Worship is our response to God’s Love!
We love Him back in RESPONSE to what was given … in reality, it’s WHO WAS GIVEN, JESUS! Loving Him back is NEVER meant to be an obligation that you “HAVE TO” force yourself to do it. When you encounter His LIQUID LOVE that is incomprehensible, indescribable, unfailing, unfathomable, ungraspable, YOU’LL FIND YOURSELF DOING IT effortlessly and unconsciously. You’ll realize how privileged you are to be the object of His intimate affection.
In Psalm 36:5 (MSG), it says … “GOD’S LOVE IS METEORIC!” When I saw this, I literally had to open my dictionary to see the meaning of it. It means very sudden or fast! It’s marked by very quick success as per Mirriam-Webster Dictionary. I believe this means that once you get to experience His Love, the effect of such instancy bypasses process. It happens in a flash that before you know it, you’re already immersed in the ocean of His love. It is a kind of love that transforms a leper into a princess in a moment, a sinner into a saint in an instant.
Psalm 36:5 (NIV) says … “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens.” I don’t know if one can measure heaven’s height. It’s immeasurably far above and infinitely beyond comprehension. BUT our spirits, our hearts were originally planned and created to grasp such vastness. We were intricately and curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors, fearfully and wonderfully made to be the sole recipients of His Great Love among all of His creations. What a great privilege indeed!
1 John 3:16 – We GIVE because we are LOVED!
The horizontal part of the Cross is for us to love one another, to love our neighbors – to our left and to our right. For me, this is only effectively, efficiently and effortlessly achieved when we are constantly and consistently connected to the Vine (the vertical part of the Cross). Fruitfulness doesn’t happen apart from connectedness. The very center of the cross where the vertical and the horizontal lines meet is our SECRET PLACE IN HIS PRESENCE. This is where we RECEIVE LOVE that enables us to GIVE LOVE! WE CANNOT GIVE WHAT WE DO NOT HAVE! Left on our own, a tooth for a tooth human attribute in conformity to the ways of this world, is a norm. But God called us to be His “PECULIAR PEOPLE”!
“But you are a CHOSEN generation, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, a PECULIAR PEOPLE; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you OUT OF darkness INTO His marvelous light ..” 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
This is the IDENTITY that Daddy God has for us … CHOSEN, ROYAL, HOLY, PECULIAR and in His marvelous light is where we are exposed to HIMSELF Who is LOVE that positions us to be DEEPLY LOVED by HIM. Immersion in His love causes us to be extensions of His love. We are SET APART for HIS USE and that is to carry AGAPE LOVE that we received from HIM and deliver it to the ends of the earth.
AGAPE LOVE is a love that loves so profoundly that knows no limits or boundaries in how far, wide, high, and deep it will go to show that love to its recipient. It is the highest form of love – a self sacrificial type of love that MOVES THE LOVER TO ACTION. It is a love that ISN’T LOOKING FOR WHAT IT CAN GET, BUT FOR WHAT IT CAN GIVE. It is a SELFLESS love.
“By this ALL WILL KNOW that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 The MARK of a believer of Jesus is when we love one another and whatever we do to the least of our brothers WE DO IT TO HIM.
‘ASSUREDLY, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
Now we can SEE that the vertical and horizontal parts of the Cross CANNOT BE SEPARATED! Our love for our brothers is a sweet smelling aroma into the nostrils of Daddy God! It ascends! It’s our expression of our love for Him. IT’S WORSHIP and worship is a LIFESTYLE and it cannot be compartmentalized!